A Behavioral Study of Distraction by Vibrotactile Novelty

Fabrice Parmentier, J.K. Ljungberg, J.V. Elsley, M. Lindkvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Past research has demonstrated that the occurrence of unexpected task-irrelevant changes in the auditory or visual sensory channels captured attention in an obligatory fashion, hindering behavioral performance in ongoing auditory or visual categorization tasks and generating orientation and re-orientation electrophysiological responses. We report the first experiment extending the behavioral study of cross-modal distraction to tactile novelty. Using a vibrotactile-visual cross-modal oddball task and a bespoke hand-arm vibration device, we found that participants were significantly slower at categorizing the parity of visually presented digits following a rare and unexpected change in vibrotactile stimulation (novelty distraction), and that this effect extended to the subsequent trial (postnovelty distraction). These results are in line with past research on auditory and visual novelty and fit the proposition of common and amodal cognitive mechanisms for the involuntary detection of change. © 2011 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1139
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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